The Korea Herald


Woman jailed for swindling multiple men in romance scam

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : May 13, 2024 - 14:05

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A South Korean woman has been sentenced by a court to three years in prison for swindling 670 million won ($490,000) from three male victims by pretending to be in a romantic relationship with them, although investigators believe there may be more victims.

The defendant was found guilty of fraud by the Ulsan District Court, officials said Monday. She was accused of extorting money from three male victims, each in their 30s, 40s and 50s, from September of 2018 to October 2023, while posing as a wealthy businesswoman in the field of art trading.

The defendant approached the victims through dating apps and earned their trust. She then borrowed large sums of money by saying her money was tied up in other business affairs, or that her former boyfriend was pressuring her for money that she supposedly owed.

In a bid to trick the victims, she also sent text messages to herself, pretending that they were from her supposed boyfriend.

An investigation found that the woman has a criminal record for fraud, for which she previously served time in prison.

While the prosecutors indicted the defendant for fraud on three victims, a police report suggested that she had swindled a total of 3 billion won from seven men, varying in age, profession, and marital status. At one point, she juggled relationships with five men at once, going on trips and giving the victims expensive gifts to earn their trust.

According to police, one victim had even quit his job and gave the woman 1.1 billion won from the severance package he received from the company and bank loans.